Perfume Reviews

Reviews by glitteralex

Total Reviews: 75

Îles d'Or by Molinard

Iles d'Or is the great-grandmother of modern Fruity Florals.

I was recently gifted an antique Iles d'Or parfum, in the violet brown 30ml(?) flacon. It was about 80% full before flying to me; I cannot say whether it had ever been opened and used, or simply suffered evaporation. Since it was shipped to me via air, some seepage into the wrapping occured due to the pressure changes. I was sad to lose an ml or so, but secretly ecstatic that I was able to smell this iconic beauty!

Firstly, the presentation of the peach/apricot and tropical fruit is fully intact, and breathtaking. My first thought was that the composition contained Violet, but now that I see the heart is comprised of Heliotrope, Jasmine, Freesia, & Lily of the Valley, that makes perfect sense. A few minutes in, the heart emerges as a creamy, powdery veil, with the fruits still going strong. Shortly thereafter, a Spicy Amber arises, with a sweet Cedar in the base. More creaminess from the Sandalwood, all supported by Vanilla. I don't detect an obvious Musk, but the soft, salty lilting qualities of Ambergris are present.I daresay this is a gourmand fragrance. There is green in the base, likely from the mild presence of Oakmoss and Galbanum, however, this is not a classic Chypre. Sillage is medium, and longevity excellent.

The perfection and quality of this bottle is astounding, given its age.I can only assume this was very carefully stored and possibly never opened.

*Compare to La 13th Note Femme by Absolument Parfumeur and Talisman by Balenciaga.

24th November, 2019

3# Nota Di Viaggio - Ciavuru d'Amuri by Meo Fusciuni

Official Notes on the tester bottle are more complex than stated above, and as follows:

"Fig Leaves, Bergamot, Artemesia, Jasmine, Ylang-Ylang, Franckincense, Cedarwood, Benzoin, Powder, and Sandalwood".

The ingredients very well describe this scent. I did a "blind" test, and the notes I came up with were powder, carrot tops, smoke, and dry grass, with the emphasis on herbal powder.

This is a beautifully blended fragrance that is quite artistic, yet easy to wear. It opens with a bright flash of green Citrus and Fig Leaves in a cloud of Aldehydes. In general, Fig Leaves are herbal and antiseptic, but here they are kept in line by the Powdery and Floral notes which emerge after a few moments. The Jasmine in particular combines with the Fig Leave to lend a sweetness reminiscent of the Fig Fruit itself, but without the cloying jam of most "fig" scents. The unexpected Powder note, usually reserved for more classically composed scents, works well to create a languid, blurred effect of the other ingredients. A novel use, but one that feels natural.

After reading the notes, I can actually tease out the sweet sharp of the cedar (seamlessly blended with the florals) and the creamy sandalwood. Good sandal is hard to find in a fragrance these days, due to scarcity and cost. You will find it here, in concert with Frankincense and Benzoin to create a cozy, warm effect.

Meo Fusciuni's NOTA DI VIAGGIO series of eau de parfums are less potent than his parfums, which doesn't mean to imply that they are in any way your average edp. The quality and concentration of ingredients give his edps longevity of 8+ hours, even when they possess levity of character.

This is a unisex scent for year round wear, although as with any concentrated fragrance, go lightly in high heat and humidity.

*Disclaimer: I am an official stockist for this line.
25th October, 2019

Fleur Sauvage by Germaine Monteil

Review is for vintage parfum en flacon, likely from the 50s.

No notes are published anywhere, but this is for sure a floral musk powerhouse. There's a hint of spicy, clove-y rose/carnation which indicates a nice dollop of isoeugenol. I get almond/powder from heliotrope, tang from violet, and a creamy sandal vibe with some true musk in the base.

Very beautiful, even in its ancient and likely degraded state.
29th April, 2019
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Eros by Versace

The overall impression is of candy floss. The mint and lemon keep things bright and lively, but when combined with the Tonka bean and the vanilla, the effect is delicious. Not classically masculine in the least, but very appealing to the younger set in the way that sweet, fruity wines are. Ambroxan (Venezualean?!?) is the synthetic version of ambergris, which that keeps the base salty, oceanic, and lilting. Geranium gives it zip, and a wan cedar serves as the anchor. Oakmoss and Vetiver? Can’t find them in there. This fragrance is all about the initial impression.

*This was a daring composition because it is essentially a gourmand for men. Only one other commercial men’s fragrance that I know of which managed to pull this off- Givenchy’s Very Irresistible for men. It became a cult classic but was not generally well received on account of its Thin Mint cookie note, and was quickly discontinued (whilst the more classic woodsy rose of the women’s version marches on to this day).
14th April, 2019

Rumeur (original) by Lanvin

Review is for a bottle I believe to be late release of the first issue of the original formula, dating it to 1971 or earlier. It came together with an identical bottle of Scandale, which was discontinued in 1971. It is a never used, never opened, 4oz(?) splash tester bottle with a plain black cylindrical cap and a rectangular gold sticker that says :



This "eau" formula is generally regarded to be an Eau de Toilette, but I can tell you this is some potent stuff. I have not opened the bottle, but a small amount seeped out from the cap during shipment and the tiniest amount of residue has my entire hand aflame with scent.

This compares well to my vintage Rumeur parfum in the gold Cartier cartridge. The parfum has much evaporation and a sweeter quality, whilst this Eau is all Spice, Civet, Moss, and Wood. As to the fruits, here they are drowned out by the suffocating heart and base and present as slightly over-ripe and spoiled. They are more noticeable in my vintage parfum. This is possibly on account of damage to the top notes, although this splash bottle has little, if any, evaporation, no changes of color, and no increased viscosity- so it seems that extreme damage is unlikely.

While I do get some lift, the Aldehydes are not overtly noticeable here, very likely since I am testing only the seeped residue from the cap, and not an actual new, wet sample. If ever I get the gumption up to open this, I will amend the review.

Most noticeable is a huge dollop of clove-rose, likely due to high concentrations of the now restricted Isoeugenol. There are traces of Jasmine in the Jasmine-Rose dance, but it's a funky, indolic jasmine, and not much of it. There is also a urinous, musky note which is most certainly Civet. The base is a smoky, earthy (Oakmoss, Vetiver) sharp wood, which I first identified as Rosewood or Cedar. It is not creamy as a vintage Sandalwood would be, although that is indeed the listed wood base.

With the Tobacco note, this all combines to be a brazen leather. I can see why the re-release in the late 70s wasn short lived- this is a fragrance from another era, in company with Bandit, Cabochard, Jolie Madame, Cuir de Russie, Infini, Mitsouko, and Farouche. Not for the faint of heart.
02nd February, 2019

Times Square by Masque

This lands on the skin in a busy mess, which quickly becomes Cherry cough syrup with wafts of garbage (rotten fruit note ala Insolence)and a discreet Asphalt note. Fairly linear, but the creaminess of the Sandalwood kicks in at about ten minutes and mitigates the awful Cherry a little bit, but not enough.

Not terribly wearable, IMO.
06th November, 2017

Yvresse / Champagne by Yves Saint Laurent

This review is for the reformulated Yvresse from the "La Collection", in the chubby cube bottle.

Well, since it's impossible to not compare this to the fabulous original formula, here goes my dissection of this monster:

*Triple the Litchi
*Halve the Stone Fruits & Violet
*Remove Coconut, Amber, and Woods

This reform is so sweet it actually makes me queasy. It isn't even as good as the Champagne dupe "perfume oil" I bought in Mexico a decade ago. I would never wear this even if I wasn't closely acquainted with the original. Maybe if it was layered with a woody, nutty, amber base it would improve. But, why bother?
23rd October, 2017

Fucking Fabulous by Tom Ford

Tom Ford's "Fucking Fabulous" is just that. As potent as a sledgehammer, it starts out with birchy, bitchy Leather, almost unbearable Clary Sage, and mineralistic Orris. Just like one of my favorites, Bandit, the first 5 minutes are a high-speed ride in the mechanic's old Camaro. After ten, slowly a little Tonka creeps in, the Cashmeran peeks out, and it becomes more wearable. Not what I expected, and very impressive.

You may be able to wear this if you enjoy the following: "The Cobra & The Canary" by Imaginary Authors, Bvlgari "Black", vintage "Or Black" by Pascal Morabito, "Bogart" by Bogart. "Bandit" by Robert Piguet, or "Noir" by Esmeralda.
03rd October, 2017

Saffron Rose by Grossmith

Saffron Rose is something to contend with. It is one of those scents that must be worn on the skin to truly appreciate, as its beauty unfurls only with the body's warmth.

The first whiff from the bottle is atrocious. The fatty castoreum gets stuck in the plastic tubing and that's all you can smell. The first spray is also rather off-putting: like fine red wine, it opens tight and illegible. Then, arriving like a club to the head- Castoreum. It's big, real, and skanky. The other notes of Rose, Saffron, Spice, & Woods all dance around the edges of these giant fatty molecules. You get a glimpse of them, but a full impression can't be garnered. By now, this scent has lost 99% of the wearers out there, all saying "Eeeww, what the hell is this stuff?".

But wait! Ten minutes in, the Caostoreum is literally melting into your skin and releasing all the other notes. There is a dark Rose with lots of spice and dirty, good quality Oudwood backed up by Labdanum (Cistus, Rockrose). Saffron Rose is an incense perfume through and through, with its dark, dusty feel. It evokes old churches with incense burning, decaying funerary wreaths, and leather prie dieux. An hour in, it lightens a bit as the Cinnamon finally kicks in and gives it some zip. Saffron Rose is a kaleidoscope of notes, each of which shift in and out of the spotlight over the course of the day.

Frankly, in terms of wearability, I think this scent would have benefitted from the lift of a little Bergamot. In an effort to give it some life, I layered Hermes' Galop "parfum" atop it for freshness and the levity of synthetics- and it is quite lovely. Galop on its own has too little base for me, so this is a perfect combination. When I want to amp up the Rose, I layer Saffron Rose instead with vintage Fleurs de Bulgarie by Creed, which uses a Musk/Ambergris base accord along with Rose and Bergamot. Labdanum and Ambergris pair well so this is a natural.

On a man, or a woman with oily skin, I think this can stand on its own. On my dry skin, in this arid environment, I find it a bit flat, although obviously of exceptional quality and very well done compositionally in the heart and base phases.

Given the cost, I highly recommend a decanted sample be tried over a week or so before committing to a full bottle.
02nd September, 2017

Vera Violetta by Roger & Gallet

This review is for a vintage late 19th c. bottle of extrait ("essence"), the same as in my photos, still sealed and 95% full. A small amount wicked out onto the ribbon during transit and I can smell the scent perfectly. The moist label has a slight wet paper/light mold note, which I can avoid by smelling the back of the bottle. Sadly I cannot try this on skin, as the bottle is tightly sealed, likely for 100 years or more.

This is an iconic fragrance given its status as the first commericial use of violet flower-scented alpha and beta ionones, here blended with natural Violet Leaf oil, and anchored by either musk and/or ambergris and possibly labdanum. Incense and Violets are an unusual combination, but this resinous violet is incomparable.

I would wear this, for certain, if I dared break the seal....
22nd August, 2017

Vivage by Louis Féraud

This must be one of the last undiscovered gems out there. A classic floribunda with a rich chypre base, Vivage approximates an offering from an 80s top-tier design house. It was crafted by Jean-Pierre Bethouart, the perfumer of such iconic fragrances as the Boucheron signature scents for women and men, Ange e Demon (edp and, my favorite, extrait),and Caron's Parfum Sacre. Like its siblings, Vivage is a class act, as are Louis Feraud's other collaborations with Avon in the 80s: Fantasque, Cote d"Azur, & Jour.

My vintage new bottle of Eau de Cologne starts off with a bright woody note. The grapefruit adds an unusual and refreshing twist to the top. The Pink Pepper is nothing like the obnoxious and synthetic feeling PP that abounds in today's fruitchoulis.

The heart surprises with a blast of powdery florals, dominated by cherry blossom & heliotrope contrasted with ripe tart fruit & beeswax.

The woody notes persevere throughout, and this fragrance becomes linear after about 15 minutes. The sillage is big and the longevity absurd- all day, as an Avon fragrance should perform! Vivage touts the classic Avon musk base, but it is carried oh-so-beautifully by an unexpected host of quality ingredients. Well worth the $15 a bottle can be found for.
18th August, 2017

Eau Folle by Guy Laroche

My review is for a vintage full mini bottle of the "Toilette Fraiche" with no discoloration, evaporation, or increase in viscosity. Despite that, I believe there to be a little bit of "vintage skank" at first, indicating a low level of damage.

This opens with a huge blast of blindingly sweet aldehydes atop lemon, bringing to mind vintage Climat edt. Very soon, though, the similarities end. Eau Folle immdiately launches into a dirty citrus with authentic animal notes. The "green" is in the form of Galbanum, to my nose. Not a fresh green, but an earthy, dark, mossy green. My best guess for the heart is a classical accord with Jasmine, LOV, & Rose. Base is Oakmoss, Civet, and maybe Patchouli. Overall impression is tart and dry, not oily, and definitely unisex.

This fragrance is intruiging and quite dated. The citrus/leather theme is one of my favorites- the notes cancel each other out in a way that both can be overdosed. See vintage versions of both sexes of Eau de Rochas, vintage Diorella, Eau Fraiche & Eau Sauvage, vintage Balmain Monsieur, Eau de Patou, Boss Spirit, and Eau de Fraicheur by Worth for comparisons. A difficult wear for anyone not a lover of vintage pragrances.
24th July, 2017

17/17 Irisss by Xerjoff

I am a huge fan of Orris. However, it often wears too cool or flat for me in a soliflore composition. Therefore, I rarely wear it alone, or have to find it in blended perfumes (Misia is a current favorite). In blends, I sniff endlessly in search of the Orris, never satisfied that I am getting enough.

Irisss is the exception. Orris is right there, the entire time. This is not so much a "perfume", but a performance, a perfect interpretation of Orris. While Oriss is by far the predominant note, and this perfume has the "feel" of a soliflore, it most certainly is not. Xerjoff has meticulously selected supporting notes, used in homeopathic quantities. In minute amounts, Jasmine and Rose add a palatable sweetness, Violet supports the powder, and Carrot Seed gives lift. Vetiver enhances the earthy quality of the Orris, and Musk adds a skin feel that Orris lacks on its own. I can't even detect the other stated notes. Doesn't matter, they are behind the scenes doing what they should- supporting the undeniable and perfect star of this show: Orris.

Yes, the price is absurd, but perfection doesn't come cheap
29th June, 2016
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Gentleman by Max Factor

Wondering if this is the same as the "Gentlemen's Cologne" I have? It has forest green labels- a medallion on my splash and a square label on my spray. I think the bottles are for sure older than 1986- the spray even has the banned propellant that was phased out in the early 70s. I found an ad for the splash cologne in a Life Magazine ad for Christmas 1965.
03rd May, 2016

Fantasque by Louis Féraud

This is a plush, green, woodsy, rose with a wet earth note. Timeless. I spoke with AVON just today and they provided me with these official notes, provided verbatim:

Top: Pear, Aldehydes, Citruses, Spices, Rosewood, & Green Tones

Heart: A Floral Bouquet of Ylang-Ylang, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Rose, & Orris Root

Base: Patchouli, Moss, Cedar, Sandalwood, Musk, & Amber
28th January, 2016

Rêve by Van Cleef & Arpels

VC & A was late to the party with this one. This Floral Fruity with pear is reminiscent of Brit Eau de Toilette, released 9 years prior. This popularity of this genre persists, though, and so this scent maintains a place in today's market.

The opening is a sparkling, fruity, synthetic melange with Aldehydes, a heavy spray of Neroli, and an overdose of Pear (which almost always feels cheap to me in a is always synthetic, and feels immature. Not youthful, but immature). Peony, one of my favorite pink floral notes, is obscured given its placement in the heart, where Osmanthus and Lily (certainly of the Easter variety) smother it.

After about 15 minutes, the heart settles down and blends into the base, which does sport a nice Sandal. The Amber is generic. The sparkly pear persists throughout the entire composition, much to my chagrin giving a nuance of acridity. All in all, a decent perfume, but not one I would ever wear personally, based more on its misuse of note than of its genre.

Longevity is 4-5 hours, and sillage can be overwhelming at first, so use caution.
27th October, 2015 (last edited: 28th October, 2015)

Chevignon 57 for Her by Chevignon

I gave this rather simple perfume 4 Stars because it is perfect for what it is: uncomplicated, pleasant, and easy to wear. It is by no means a masterpiece of perfumery, but for the same reason I still love to wear Jean Nate in the summer, I'll reach for this in the colder months.

This is a lovely Gourmand, delightful on an overcast autumn day...the sweet pipe tobacco quality is mesmerizing, not cloying at all. The Rose is dark and rich. The Passion Fruit is not individually distinguishable, except for the "fruity" quality it lends. The base is a nice little Amber/Vanilla/Coffee number with a trace of Sandal.

If you like "Fancy" by Jessica Simpson, but find it too sweet and young, Chevignon 57 might fit the bill. The concentration is mediocre, however, so you will need to re-apply throughout the day.
27th October, 2015

Monsieur Musk by Dana

We decided to do a flight sampling of Monsieur Musk while bottles of various concentrations by all three makers were at hand. It's a warm, rainy day here in Lake Tahoe so the notes will be more pronounced than in our usual aridity.

The King of Monsieur Musk is for certain the vintage version by Houbigant. Notes we smell are: Bergamot, Lemon, Lavender, Leather, Tobacco Leaf, Rosa Damascene, Coumarin, Musk, Galbanum, and Moss. A Musky Fougere (also fits the Chypre format), with incredible density, nice development, and big sillage. It sits on the skin with a spicy, green, velvet quality that is unparalleled. Highly recommended. (Samples were taken from all three bottles in the photo, and found to be very similar, despite one being called "AfterShave/Cologne" instead of simply "AfterShave")

The next MM we sampled was the vintage "Cologne" by Parfums Parquet* in the clear bottle. The straw color was much lighter than the Houbigant juice, and so was the formula. I would put concentration of oils at about half that of the Houbigant AfterShave. A lilting Lemon opening gives way to a Waxy, Rosy heart with Green Notes. The Spice, which gave the original formula sparkle, is very subdued. Any costly Resins have been eliminated. The Musk is likely synthetic, and takes a good half an hour to really develop. It is mild and pleasant, but juxtaposed to its predecessor, it's a mere phantom of the original.

This brings us to the readily available and reasonably priced cologne currently issued by the third manufacturer of this scent, Dana. Compared to the Cologne by Parfums Parquet, Dana has amped up the opening with more Bergamot. They revived the Lavender from the Houbigant original, and replenished some of the Spice- albeit a jagged, shallow, and generic one. My guess is that it's some sort of "spice blend" put out by fragrance base manufacturers. Missing here, that's present in both previous versions, is a supple base (Leather and Moss in the Houbigant and Wax in the Parfums Parquet). Without adding the cost of a good fixative to the formula, it could benefit from a little Vanillin to warm things up. It's a sharp and empty, but on the skin of a man, it could come alive.

b.n. Fragrance Notes are not official, only our impressions.

*Although Basenotes has Parfums Parquet listed as the original maker, to the best of my knowledge it is a subsidiary or descendent of the House of Houbigant. I believe it owned and manufactured the MM formula before it came to Dana.
17th October, 2015 (last edited: 19th October, 2015)

Germaine by Germaine Monteil

I don't think anything I say could improve on msveronica9's review- her take on the notes is amazing, and her comparisons to similar frags is dead-on. I would like to add that I also get some type of watery flower, like Cyclamen or Lotus, in the heart, and some type of true animal, likely Musk, in the base. A very elegant and beautiful scent from a period when fragrances like this were all the rage.
11th August, 2015

Replique by Long Lost Perfume

Replique is one of those scents where the quality and character of the scent is closely tied to the vintage. Today, I am lucky enough to be wearing (what I believe to be an early 80s) splash EDT by Parfums Raphael, with little discoloration and oxidation. The bottle is hourglass shaped and the box has an abstracted French flag.

The application opens with the a blast of vintage aldehydes, but once upon warm skin, it develops quickly. Replique is a heavy, classic chypre, weighted more with Lemon than Bergamot. In this way it reminds me of Adolfo II. The heart is primarily Lily and Jasmine, almost certainly an absolue. The heart is vegetal and waxy. Spices are perfectly balanced, because without them, the heart would be unbearably sweet, however they do not make a stand of their own. This is like an incredibly rich, honeyed dessert with spices and lemon rinds. Delectable! The base is primarily mossy and resinous, and for sure has authentic musk.

Sillage is big, and longevity insane (20 hours and going strong, what with all the fixatives in the base). Initial drydown retains a good dose of all the ingredients in the top and heart, for a couple of hours. Long term drydown is Powder over Ambergris. Really intense stuff! The green, soapy character reminds me a bit of Aromatics Elixir.
13th May, 2015

Étoile du Sud by Fragonard

Today, I had the rare opportunity to sample this beautiful scent in the vintage parfum (15ml, gold aluminum canister). There was a small amount of evaporation, and the color a dark rose, however this may be normal. The perfume was in top notch condition. It is an effusive floral of the highest caliber. Exquisitely feminine, with Hyacinth, Lilac, Lily of the Valley and Ylang-Ylang as the dominant notes. The Jasmine is balanced and not indolic in the least. Etoile du Sud is fairly linear (as some parfums are) but rises off the skin in a cloud that evokes not just the scent of the flower, but also of the leaves, twigs, and moist soil out of which the plant grows. The Ylang-Ylang is dominant and serves as the fixative, but still allows the florals to take the spotlight. I would also guess there is Oakmoss in small amounts.

Highly recommended if you can find it.
05th February, 2015

Face à Face Femme by Façonnable

Face a Face by Faconnable is lovely scent for spring and summer days. The coriander gives a sharp effect that quickly fades into a vegetal white rose. What might have been a flimsy fragrance steps up with a soft base of cedar and spicy marigold, accentuated by a tasteful dose of patchouli. This scent is offered in an EDT concentration but is actually more of a "veil". Recommended for those who want a fresh, polite scent that does not shout.
31st August, 2014

Epris by Max Factor

Review is for the pure perfume, from a previously unopened vintage bottle. Dark color indicates oxidation although there is no evaporation.

A sweet and boozy entrance, with lots of Benzoin, Carnation, & Jasmine, blends seamlessly into a mincemeat pie of spices-Cinnamon, Nutmeg, powdered Ginger- enveloped in Damascan rose, all anchored by what I am sure is natural Beeswax and Patchouli. The collision of notes calms nicely within about 15 minutes, when Oakmoss serves as the canvas for muted versions of the previously screaming notes. A beautiful perfume for the holidays.

Despite the designation as a Chypre, I do not get any citric notes in the top; perhaps they are degraded in my bottle.

The longevity and concentration are insane; a mere drop lasts close to a day. At $10 for a mini of perfume, this is not to be missed!
18th August, 2012

Présence by Houbigant

Presence opens with a strong and sharp burst of aldehydes atop citrus, which last but a few moments before a powdery blast of neroli and jasmine come forth. Quick on their heels is a piquant woody spiced soap with helitrope and wax. Strength in the Eau de Toilette is outrageous, propelled into huge sillage by the undying aldehydes. Although created by Parfums Parquet, a subsidiary of Houbigant, this perfume feels distinctly American in brashness. I have worn this for a week now, and cannot seem to find a fondness for it, despite the ingredients being of very good quality, in high concentration, and decently put together.
16th December, 2011

Narcissus by Yardley

I am not terribly familiar with Yardley fragrances, but this scent presents as the soliflore it claims to be. The opening has the waxy round scent true to the narcissus flower....I don't get any of the orange mentioned by castorpollux in the review above, but my bottle has been hanging around for quite some time so possibly these notes are damaged. I don't find the sweetness of the hyacinth either, but, then again, Yardley says about its floral fragrances: " Each featured one or two key linear notes that remain constant throughout the scent, softened with subtle top, heart and base notes. The result is harmonious and exquisite." Possibly the supporting notes to the Narcissus are used very sparingly and are not intended to be noticed? The base is quite dry and definitely unisex. Sorry if this review is also dry, but I can't say anything about this scent moved me. Longevity is decent. "Narcissus" is not on the current Yardley website, so I assume it has been discontinued.
08th December, 2011

Skinny Dip by Leeming

Skinny Dip is a fresh cologne style scent with dry citrus, a light sweet fruit, and an animalic musk base. Really very lovely and well done! Compare to Jovan's "Woman" and "Eau Fresh" and Morabito's "Classique". My partial bottle from the 70s is in exemplary condition, likely due to being sealed from oxidation with a CFC propellant.
09th November, 2011

Route du Thé by Barneys New York

This is a a Bergamot bomb! Spice and warmth, with a sweet honey note about 10 minutes in. Honestly, I can't detect any LOV in there. The Amber base is delightful, but still heavy on the Bergamot. Route du The evokes Earl Grey tea with honey and lemon-very delightful, modern classic, & unisex. Niche before niche existed.
12th October, 2011

Vintage Naturals 2009 Mimosa by Demeter Fragrance Library

I was almost knocked out of my chair upon sampling this. I had just tried Demeter Naturals Lilac- a sweet mess not resembling Lilac in the least, and their Naturals Lavender, which is a crude and sharp lavender you would find in a linen spray.

Naturals Mimosa screams *high quality mimosa absolute*, with its sweet, sunny, radiant, waxy charm. The longevity is excellent, and the projection very good. Strength is comparable to a Parfum. Nearly a soliflore, Demeter Natural Mimosa is buoyed by spice, which I presumed to be cinnamon and/or pepper, but which is, surprisingly- Geranium. I don't find any of the fresh cat-pee notes of the stated Basil. The very full, round base complements the Mimosa Absolute by reinforcing the full, waxy character and giving it longevity. Simply delightful, and an excellent example of natural perfumery.

Compare to:

*Hiris by Hermes, another near-soliflore with high quality ingredients. I actually prefer the Demeter Mimosa, as it manages to be everything Hiris is, but without the synthetics, and much less grim. Mimosa is a sunny day with a warm breeze, and Hiris is a cold cloudy day in early December.

*Pur Desir de Mimosa by Yves Rocher, which employs a decent absolute, but in such a watered down state that I can hardly smell it at times.
23rd August, 2011

Muguet des Bois by Coty

Somehow a small parfum spray, likely 1980s, appeared on my desk. No cap, dark color, a certain victim of oxidation. I expected the worst...but, despite this, it manages to be absolutely delightful! The alcohol takes a minute or so to blow off, and there is certainly a "boozy" quality thanks to the oxidation, but I still enjoy this deep rosy lily on a velvet background of green woods. I give this bottle in particular a 3 or 4/10, and I am still managing to enjoy it, so now I'm on the hunt for other vintages in better condition.
15th August, 2011

Mandragore by Annick Goutal

This review is for the edt from a vial on card.

Mandragore possesses so few ingredients that it almost presents as a linear perfume. Fresh Bergamot dominates the entrance, if only for a short while. Within a minute, the fragrance settles into what it remains for about 4 hours; a sharp, simple, spicy melange of Bergamot, Black Pepper, Mint, Ginger, and (barely noticeable) Star Anise. The Bergamot and Mint are lovely, and manage to stand up well to the potentially overpowering Pepper. This is one of the more exemplary uses of Bergamot I have encountered. It is used throughout the composition to create balance, rather than existing solely in the top notes. The Star Anise is lost in the mix; I can't discern it. However, with so few ingredients, it must have some subtle effect. The Ginger is almost edible, and supports the Pepper in its role. The drydown is woodsy, similar to Sandal or Cedar, but more subtle, as it cannot compete with the Spice and ubiquitous Bergamot. I have never had the opportunity to smell the Mandrake Root, or Mandragore, so cannot comment on its presence or lack thereof. Due to its potent hallucinogenic effects, I can only imagine that it is used in minute amounts as a marketing cocktails containing Absinthe.

This is almost a gourmand, like gingerbread without the sugar. Mandragore gives the impression of being created predominantly of natural materials, but very carefully, and with some synthetic boosters. I see this on both men and women, but would prefer it on a man. This fragrance lacks roundness- without the addition of a voluptuous base like Tonka, Vanilla, or Amber, it requires the oilier skin of a man to have depth. I find it sits atop my skin, but never melds into it, even on a warm day.

Compare to current Idole by Lubin, which is both creamier and boozier, and has more character.
29th July, 2011